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Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana, syn. Cochlearia armoracia) is a perennial root vegetable, grown for its edible roots. The horseradish is treated as a herb or spice.
Horseradish leaves grow long and broad, and are soft.
The roots of the horseradish are long, fleshy and white in colour.
Propagate the plant from roots. Take sections of root in the late autumn or early spring and plant in rich soil that has been well dug.
Horseradish can be grown in containers or in the garden.
Wait for a cold spell before digging up the roots, as the flavour is best after cold weather.
Uses for horseradish
Horseradish is typically used as a relish, grated or minced.
When preparing, keep the roots in water as much as you can, to keep its odor and strength lower for handling (the compounds, once cut, irritate human mucous membranes in the eyes and sinuses). The roots can be scrubbed or peeled, then cut when still under the water. Grate or mince as needed and transfer straight from the water into vinegar if storing or use immediately. The pungency declines when exposed to the air and if left too long, the taste turns bitter.
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